Vegan Golden BBQ Meatloaf

Lentil and mushroom loaf is way better than real meatloaf!

This vegan golden BBQ meatloaf is definitely the closest thing I have had to real meatloaf ever. Made from lentils, sauteed mushrooms, bread crumbs and vital wheat gluten. This is the real deal people. It is also so incredibly easy, perfect to prep ahead of time, reheats beautifully and makes a damn good leftover meatloaf sandwich! You really need to give this a try!

When I was a kid, I really liked meatloaf and my mom made it all the time. She would always put french onion soup mix in it, and I hated that part of the mixture. I hated the tiny dry onions, and would pick every single tiny piece of onion out of the meatloaf. I vowed I would make a delicious meatloaf that I loved when I was older. Then I stopped eating meat. So here is the best and most awesome rendition of what I loved without the things I disliked, in vegan form!

Let’s talk about the golden BBQ sauce. It is mustard based and tangy, but sweet and well balanced. It goes insanely well with the combination of lentils and mushrooms this BBQ meatloaf is packed with! This meatloaf is also full of garlic that compliments everything so well! Slather the top of the meatloaf with this golden BBQ sauce and you will be in heaven.

 I really strive to make all my recipes easy enough for a beginner cook to master. Don’t be intimidated by this recipe, it would be really hard to mess up. You just saute mushrooms and garlic, then you are just mixing things together with your hands like you would a real meatloaf. However, let’s just be serious, folding together mushrooms and lentils with breading is way less disgusting than having to touch real meat.

This vegan golden BBQ meatloaf will rock your world. My husband has been obsessed with it. Trying to make the perfect sandwich with slices of it! What will you serve it with? 

Vegan Golden BBQ Meatloaf
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Made from lentils, mushrooms, bread crumbs and vital wheat gluten. Making it the closest to the real thing ever! 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Vegan Meatloaf
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 10 oz. Mushrooms, chopped very fine
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 2 C. Cooked lentils(not dry)
  • 1 C. Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C. Vital wheat gluten
  • 3 Tbsp. Ketchup(organic)
  • Salt and Pepper
Golden BBQ Sauce
  • 3/4 C. Mustard,I used Dijon
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Water
  • 1/3 C. Brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. Tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  1. In a non stick saute pan, heat the olive oil on medium high. Then add the mushrooms and garlic. Saute reducing heat as needed for about 5 minutes or so, until they have released their liquid and it is cooked off and they are starting to get brown. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Remove from heat. 

  2. Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked lentils. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the lentils about half way, leaving some texture. 

  4. Then add in the cooked mushrooms and garlic. Then add the panko, vital wheat gluten, ketchup and a few pinches of salt and pepper. 
  5. Start to stir everything together, then once the mix starts to come together, begin to knead together with your hands. Knead for a few minutes until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. It may seem a bit dry at first, but it will come together and stay together. 

  6. Now, either form the meatloaf mix into a loaf and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray, or press into a loaf pan. I like to bake mine on a baking sheet. 

  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 

  8. While the meatloaf is baking, make the BBQ sauce. Add the the BBQ sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan, whisk together. Heat on low and bring to a low simmer for about 3-5 minutes whisking frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. 

  9. Once the meatloaf has baked for 15 minutes, brush or pour the BBQ sauce on top. Then return to the oven and bake for another 15-17 minutes or until the meatloaf is browned and firm. 

  10. Let cool for a minute, slice and serve. I like to have mine with potatoes, greens or as a super cool sandwich!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Karen C
    February 21, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it, just wondering if you may know of a substitute for the vital wheat gluten for people with celiac disease?
    Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      February 21, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      I have been told that people have had success using tvp (textured vegetable protein) in place if the vital wheat gluten in one of my other recipes. So that may work! I haven’t tried it myself though. I hope that helps!❀

  • Reply
    February 22, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Is it really 3/4 cup of mustard in the sauce?

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      February 22, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      It is. I know it sounds like a lot, but it is a mustard based bbq sauce instead of a tomato based bbq sauce like normal. It gets balanced out by the sweetness.

  • Reply
    May 29, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Hi, only just found your website, this recipe looks fabulous. Here in the UK we have 1lb and 2lb loaf tins. Do you have any idea which would be the best size to use. Could you give me dimensions of the size of the tin you used innfge recipe. Many thanks.

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      May 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      The standard size here is 9x5x2 1/2. I’m not sure if that is a 1lb or 2lb, but you could do a quick rough measurement.

    Leave a Reply